20 Express

We like simple. We’re not getting any younger, and those neurons we lost to our youth aren’t coming back any time soon.

On its surface, 20 Express seems almost too simple to be Major Fun. Draw numbers from a bag. Place them in ascending order. There are 39 numbered tiles and one Wild tile. The tiles are numbered 1 – 30 and numbers 11 – 19 have duplicate tiles. The main constraint is that you have a line of 20 boxes. Every number must be written in one box.

Draw a number, everyone writes it in a box. Low numbers to the left. High numbers to the right.

Simple.

Once you start drawing and placing numbers, you get hooked. Some numbers are obvious: a 1 should go in the first box; a 30 should go in the last. But there is no guarantee that these numbers will show up. So what do you do with a 29 or 28 if it shows up early in the game? Even trickier are the middle numbers. Because there are duplicates in the middle range it is not safe to make a run of consecutive numbers like 12-13-14-15. What if you draw another 14?

Major Fun AwardYour score is determined after twenty tiles have been drawn. Each series of numbers in ascending order scores points for you. There is a handy chart for scoring. For example a series of 2 numbers (the smallest) is worth 1 point; a series of 3 is worth 3 points; a series of 8 is worth 15 points, and a series of 20 is worth 300 points. In general, a single long series is worth much more than a few mid-length series. I lost my first game when I had two sets of 8 and one set of 4 (35 points total) and my opponent had a set of 14 and two sets of 3 (56 points total).

Because everyone plays with the same set of drawn numbers I can’t even complain that my luck was bad. Everyone has the same luck. It’s just that some make better use of the luck than others.

There is no limit to the number of people who can play. It is also an engaging solitaire game. To have a game that is a great party game and a great solitaire game at the same time is something special.

Jump aboard the 20 Express. You’ll have a blast, and you’ll have Major Fun for company.

For 1+ players, ages 8+

20 Express was designed by Yoshihisa Itsubaki and is © 2013 by Blue Orange Games.

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